Dharamsala, February 10 – Despite a “widespread” consensus in Tibet to avoid any festivity this Tibetan New Year the Chinese authorities in Tibet’s Lithang County are handing out Tibetans with cash rewards of ten thousand to thirty thousand Yuan (4400 US Dollar approx.) for the celebration of the Tibetan New Year, reported the Voice of Tibet radio service Tuesday.
Citing a source with contacts in Lithang, the VOT said the Chinese authorities in various parts of Tibet are encouraging Tibetans to celebrate the Tibetan New Year on February 14 with pomp and festivity.
The authorities, according to the VOT source in Sera monastery in South India, have told the Tibetans to celebrate this Losar for the “economic development and social stability” and the “success of the central government’s policy on ethnic minorities” under the People’s Republic of China. “They even promised to incur all expenditures for any festivity and entertainment program during the Tibetan New Year.”
The Tibetans who were not involved in the recent protests for release of jailed Tibetan religious leader and philanthropist Trulku Tenzin Delek and those who were friendly with the officials and soldiers who cracked down on the protesters were provided sanctions to renovate their houses and cash gifts upto thirty thousand Yuan, according to the VOT.
The Tibetans in Nyakchuka County took to the streets on December 5 last year demanding the release of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche who the protesters argued was jailed in a “fabricated” case. A petition signed and thumb printed with blood by thousands of Tibetans in the area was submitted to the authorities.
On December 2 2002, the Kardze Intermediate People's Court in the Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, sentenced Lobsang Dhondup, a relative of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, to death for "inciting separatism", "causing explosions" and "illegal possession of guns and ammunition". He was executed on January 26, 2003, despite international outcry. On the same day, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was sentenced to death with a two year reprieve for "causing explosions" and "inciting separatism". Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, based at a monastery in nomad-dominated Othok, had his sentence commuted to life in 2005.